My earliest photography memory

By Hannah Freeland

I was recently asked about how photography entered my life. I had to really think about this as there was no ‘lightbulb’ moment.


When I was about 6-7 I borrowed my father’s film cameras and started photographing objects around the house and garden.


I remember picking a single rose from the garden, bringing it into the house, finding my mum’s cut crystal vase and setting up the rose and vase onto the dresser for the oak back drop. I had no idea why I was doing this, but I just wanted to style something and make it my own. I played with this for hours, turning the rose so only the perfections could be seen, making sure the vase had no marks on it and giving space around them both.


Waiting for films to be developed was so normal then. The excitement would build and I would constantly beg mum to pay for the 1hr turn around. ‘Absolutely not Hannah, the 1-week turnaround is fine’, oh the agony.


I used to photograph my animals constantly. We still have 100’s of images of the dogs, cats, rabbits, guinea pigs, chickens and of course the ponies. I just wanted to capture the love I had for them.


I assumed that others wanted to see of the cute things they would do, like my horse eating hay in his stable… It’s incredible right?


When I was about 12, I had a best friend also called Hannah. We devised a plan to get our ponies to live together, and would you believe it, we pulled it off! So Rudolf and Candy lived together on my grandparent’s farm and we were able to ride together and spend entire weekends at the stables together.


I asked Hannah if I could take some photos of her and Candy (like the magazines, I told her) at the stables. I wanted to take pictures of her, in her riding gear with her pony Candy, looking cute. She of course obliged and posed for hours with Candy.


Little did I know that I had just lit a fire inside. I had such fun that day, but when you have that much fun doing something you assume that this is your hobby. Another thing to do in your spare time when you’re not working and earning your living.

I now see so many children and young adults taking thousands of images on their phones and instantly getting the feedback from friends online. I wish they could feel the same joy I used to, at taking 1 picture with your film camera and the anticipation of waiting for it to be developed. The problem with instant feedback, is it’s instantly moved on from. The creation, the excitement, anticipation and waiting makes moments worth holding on for- something I can sense when clients wait for their special images to be viewed for the very first time!